As we settle into spring, a new lunar cycle signals the changing of the season, bringing with it the annual “pink moon.”
The pink moon will rise into the sky Wednesday night, and will peak around 12:30 a.m. Eastern time early Thursday.
According to the Old Famers Almanac, similar to March’s worm moon, its name has nothing to do with the moon’s appearance. Rather, the name stems from the fact that pink flower blooms begin to reappear around this time of year, specifically Phlox subulata, which goes by the alternate name of “moss pink.”
The pink moon also often comes around the time Easter is celebrated, earning its alternative name the Paschal Full Moon. Easter is traditionally celebrated on the first Sunday following the April full moon, therefore, Easter will take place this Sunday, April 9.
This year, the moon also appears on the day of Passover on April 5.
The almanac also said that according to folklore, the period from the full moon (April 6) to the last quarter of the moon (April 13) is the best time for killing weeds, thinning, pruning, mowing, cutting timber and planting below-ground crops.
While “pink” and “Paschal” are the most popular names for April’s moon, the almanac included a list of alternative names that have developed from various Native American tribes, including:
- Breaking Ice Moon (Algonquin)
- Moon When the Streams Are Again Navigable (Dakota)
- Budding Moon of Plants and Shrubs (Tlingit)
- Moon of the Red Grass Appearing (Oglala)
- Moon When the Ducks Come Back (Lakota)
- Moon When the Geese Lay Eggs (Dakota)
- Frog Moon (Cree)
Another name is “sucker moon” from the Anishinaabe group of Native American people in the Great Lakes region of North America. The name comes from April being a prime time to harvest sucker fish, as they tend to return to lakes or streams around this time. According to Anishinaabe legend, this is around the time of year when this fish comes back from the spirit world to purify waters and the creatures in them.